A healthy and safe home based environment
It is my responsibility as a professional childminder to do everything possible to keep all children safe at all times and prevent accidents, to do so:
•I will ensure I keep appropriate supervision of children at all times.
•I have in place a thorough risk assessment which I enforce and revise regularly.
•I use only equipment with children that is age appropriate and in safe working order and complies with national safety standards.
•I keep my home clean and organised and dispose of waste appropriately.
•I do not keep pets.
•Medicines and other hazardous materials are locked away out of reach of children.
•In the event of an accident, illness or emergency I will follow my policy and procedures to ensure it is dealt with in an effective way.
There are different levels of supervision depending on the age, ability of the child, the task/activity they are taking part in and the environment they are doing it in, for example a toddler exploring the garden and learning to walk will need much more hands on supervision than an eight year old sitting quietly with a colouring book. The three Levels are:
•Constant supervision means watching a child at all times, probably close by, maybe helping a baby to stand or a toddler to climb up a slide.
•Close supervision is when you are watching the child without being involved in what they are doing, however you are ready to step in and help when necessary, maybe if a toddler is eating a snack or playing at the playground. •General supervision is always being aware what the child is doing and checking on them at regular intervals, maybe when an older child is doing their homework or watching TV after school.
When out and about with children it is really important to follow road safety rules. Babies and toddlers are safely strapped into a buggy but older children must walk sensibly beside me while we walk along a busy road or cross over, holding hands depending on their age and understanding. When in quieter safer surrounding I expect the children to always listen to my instructions and Never go out of sight. I will always have written permission from parents before taking them out and I will always let parents know where we plan to go.
I only have toys and children’s equipment with a recognised safety symbol on them, such as the Kite Mark, the CE Mark or the Lion Mark. I check all equipment for hazards regularly to make sure they are not damaged or broken. All toys and equipment are used only with children of an appropriate age. Children are supervised at all times and are shown how to use toys safely.
Current guidance on health and safety and risk assessment of the home based work setting is available from RoSPA (Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents) website at www.rospa.com where you can find a whole section on home safety including specific advice on preventing accidents among children. The Health and Safety Executive website www.hse.gov.uk contains general guidance about health and safety and risk assessment but is less specific to childcare. There is lots of support available for childminders. There are childminding networks all over the country are rich sources of information and support. If you are a member of PACEY, they will be a source of guidance and support. You could read through the Welfare requirements of EYFS or find information in your local library.